Law Day on the Hill: Alumni can handle the truth
March 21, 2012
|Andrew Merken, A87, a partner at Burns & Levinson, LLP, and Gabriel Safar, A98, of Saul Ewing, LLP, gear up for the tenth annual Law Day on the Hill.
At the 10th annual Law Day on the Hill, held on March 1, Tufts students were asked to flex their law muscles in a mock Socratic lecture led by University of Maine Law School’s Associate Professor Dmitry Bam, before engaging in a panel presentation featuring a lineup of accomplished Tufts alumni.
“The audience was thoroughly engaged,” says Nancy Pinn, J88, director of admissions and student affairs at Harvard Law School, as well as chair of Law Day. “It was clear from the rapt attention that the aspiring lawyers in the group were eager to begin their formal training.”
Panel members shared their various experiences from choosing to pursue a law degree to the important role of a mentor in the journey to professional success. The panel consisted of Marni Goldstein Caputo, J97, assistant director for international and J.D. advising at Harvard Law School’s Office of Career Services; Jessica Langsam, J88, ADA/Supervisor for the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office; Brian McNamara, A05, corporate counsel for Financial Engines; and Christopher R. Vaccaro, A81, attorney at law.
Reflecting on his career path, Vaccaro, says he wasn’t always his own boss. “After graduating from law school, I worked for larger downtown law firms.” But the high salary didn’t pay off the long hours. “After 10 years and realizing that I would probably not be offered a partnership in a large firm, I opened a solo law practice. Other than getting married to my wife, it was the best decision I ever made.”
When asked how he would choose a law school if he were applying today, Vaccaro says, “I would try to attend the most competitive law school that would accept me; one with a good track record of placing its graduates. I would also want to attend law school in the state where I hope to practice law and live.”
Following the panel discussion, some 85 students, panelists, and alumni had the opportunity to network, with alumni providing valuable advice to current aspiring lawyers.
“The atmosphere was great,” adds Vaccaro. “The students asked intelligent questions and seemed interested in what others had to say. The alumni were a diverse group, who had very different legal careers. This enhanced the experience for all.”
Miss the event? Check out the photo gallery!
The Tufts Lawyers Association would like to thank the generous supporters for Law Day 2012:
Burns & Levinson LLP, Andy Merken, A87
Foley Hoag, Phil Swain, E80, A80
Kaplan Test Prep Services
Tufts Office of Undergraduate Education
Little Medeiros Kinder Bulman & Whitney, P.C.
R. Thomas Dunn, A00
K&L Gates, Chris Valente, A05
Tufts Lawyers Association
Tufts Career Services
Tufts University Alumni Association